Saliba heads for exit, as finger points to Arsenal for loan collapse


Arsenal defender William Saliba could join a Sky Bet Championship club on loan in the coming weeks.

The 19-year-old saw a loan transfer to former Saint-Etienne club fail, but the PA news agency understands he could still spend the season in the second division.

Saliba joined Arsenal from Saint-Etienne last summer for a fee of £ 27million – but the deal also meant he would stay with the French squad for the 2019-20 campaign.

A number of injury issues, coupled with the cancellation of the Ligue 1 season following the coronavirus outbreak, meant that Saliba’s last year with the club did not go as planned as he only made 17 appearances.

He returned to Arsenal ahead of Saint-Etienne’s rescheduled Coupe de France final against Paris St Germain on July 24 as the two clubs failed to agree on the best training regime for the player.

Saliba was widely expected to become a member of Mikel Arteta’s first team at Arsenal ahead of the current season, but he has yet to make his competitive debut for the club with the summer signing of Gabriel Magalhaes overtaking him in the season. hierarchical order.

Arteta has been asked several times about Saliba’s continued absence and language issues and the death of his mother are believed to have contributed to the French Under-20 international’s slow adaptation to life in England.

“For many reasons this was not the transition year he needed as he had a lot of injuries, personal issues and also with the cancellation of Covid and the French league he did not have this that year, ”Arteta said recently when asked about Saliba’s loan period.

“He needs this year of transition and we are trying to make the right decisions for him to give him the best year of transition to have the player we want in our future. “

Saliba “determined” to return to France

That year seemed to be playing out again in Saint-Etienne, but the French side pointed the finger at Arsenal when a deal could not be reached in time for Monday’s deadline.

“Unfortunately, all the administrative conditions could not be fulfilled in time in England for the conclusion of the agreement,” said a statement from the club.

“The disappointment is great for ASSE and William Saliba, who was particularly determined to return to a club where he flourished.

However, the PA News Agency understands that Saliba – whose only appearances for the Gunners to date have been in preseason friendlies – may still leave Emirates Stadium.

A domestic-only transfer window is still underway, allowing Premier League clubs to trade with English Football League teams until October 16 and it is understood that Arsenal are now seriously considering the possibility of loaning. Saliba at a second tier club.

Arsenal supplemented signing midfielder Thomas Partey of Atletico Madrid on the transfer deadline day, while Lucas Torreira did the opposite on loan and Matteo Guendouzi signed for Hertha Berlin on a loan of one. season.

READ MORE: Farewell message from Partey, as Atletico fret over Arsenal transfer

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